Most helpful critical review
on 23 November 2012
I was not quite sure what to make of this. I picked it up while waiting for another book to arrive. I remember reading `A portrait of the artist` at college and was not mature enough for it then and so was not without trepidation with `Dubliners`. It is a fairly short book made up of about twenty short stories. Some of these are very short and I felt the story had no time to grow into anything before it had already been cut short. By far the best was the last and longest story - well, the final scene is quite breathtaking. Joyce has a very keen sense of the visceral as any fans of his will tell you. I am tempted to look at Ulysses now although I will try and pick an opportune moment, or two! to do it. I call Joyce the arch-melancholic. He can convey feelings of abject desparation or misery but there is also a very occasional inclusion of humour...`Mr Alleyne, a little man wearing gold-rimmed glasses on a clean-shaven face, shot his head up over a pile of documents. The head itself was so pink and hairless it seemed like a large egg reposing on the papers.` ... and ...`She respected her husband in the same way as she respected the General Post Office, as something large, secure, and fixed.`...and... ` After three weeks, (of marriage) she had found a wife`s life irksome and, later on, when she was beginning to find it unbearable, she had become a mother.` yes, I think it is fair to say that Joyce does come up with some great material. Personally I think I prefer novels rather than short stories, but for the reader new to Joyce,`Dubliners` is probably a good place to start.